“My journey as a poet, as an immigrant, and as a woman has not been without difficulties. I came here almost 20 years ago with the unshakable conviction that I can be a poet in America. The most important lessons I’ve learned, I’ve learned from being part of a community, that is, to be a poet is to help build, gather, restore.”

Aileen Cassinetto is the third Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, the first Asian American appointed to the post. Since January of 2019, she has launched her campaign, “Speak Poetry,” visited schools, government halls and the county prison, and led workshops, readings and other poetry-related events. She has also been featured on NBC Bay Area hosted by Robert Handa.

Aileen is the author of Traje de Boda (Meritage Press, 2010) and The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems (Our Own Voice & Little Dove Books, 2018), as well as three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series. She is also co-publisher of Paloma Press, an independent literary press established in 2016. A poet with a day job, Aileen is a staff member at a diplomatic mission in San Francisco. To contact: write[at]aileencassinetto.com